Thursday, April 8, 2010

From Literary Masterpiece to Stunning Video Game

dante's infernoSo I don’t know if you have seen the commercials promoting Dante’s Inferno that seem to be on every single channel, but I can only think of one word to thoroughly describe the game…intense. When you’re thinking about upcoming video games, you most likely wouldn’t expect a piece of classical literature to make the list, but Visceral Games and Electronic Arts decided to take on the task of turning Dante Alighieri’s work into a fast paced, visually stunning video game. For centuries, people have been drawn to Dante’s The Divine Comedy for its captivating yet terrifying account of Dante’s journey through the land of the dead. If you have read the masterpiece, you might wonder how a video game can be created from a story that contains a lot of talking to suffering people and very little action, but the creators of the Dante’s Inferno went ahead and took some poetic license and added in some premises for action.

The basis of the story revolves around Dante, who is a young crusader returning to his beloved fiancée, Beatrice, who is waiting for him in Florence. When he arrives there, he finds his home destroyed and Beatrice dead, and to cause him even more agony, as he runs towards his love’s lifeless body, Lucifer appears and snatches away her soul, taking her to the deepest depths of Hell. The game then obviously focuses on Dante’s quest to recover Beatrice’s soul before she is lost to him forever. Before he can get to her though, he must face his very own mistakes and sins and a final battle with Lucifer himself.

As I mentioned before, the game is very different than The Divine Comedy. The pursuit of Beatrice is the main focus, but there are plenty of battles in between. There is no stopping Dante from getting to his precious fiancée.

The levels of the game focus on the sins that can be found in The Divine Comedy so as you can guess this is a “Mature” rated game. There is blood and gore, intense violence, nudity, and sexual content. The game honestly pushes even a mature rating. There are scenes where souls are being brutally tortured, where there is intense violence, and where there is full male and female nudity. This is a game that is completely inappropriate for children. This game explores the deepest pits of Hell with all of its punishments and horrors. A lot of the time, you can’t help but feel really bad for all of the people that you meet along the way.

dante's infernoWhile playing the game, you will quickly discover the holy and unholy meter. Once you have attacked an enemy, you are given the opportunity to perform a finishing move that will allow you to judge your adversaries. If you decide to punish your enemy by destroying them with your scythe, you will earn unholy points, but if you choose to absolve their spirit with your cross, you will instead earn holy points. By collecting these different points, you will be able to buy new attacks and gain new levels. Holy and unholy relics will also provide you with different bonuses like evasion enhancement, regenerative magic, or increased damage.

Throughout the game, you will be given the opportunity to punish or absolve a variety of different historical figures who have been damned for the sins that they committed in their lives. You will continue to earn holy and unholy points based on what you choose to do. By choosing to absolve these historical figures you will have many more benefits than you would get from punishing them.

The game play can get repetitive throughout the game. It’s a lot of slashing and hacking that can mostly be performed with one button, but even if the game play can be a little monotonous, the game is still incredibly interesting.

Dante’s Inferno is a visual masterpiece. Even though it’s Hell that you’re viewing, it is depicted in a bold and impressive manner. Yes, the game play can get repetitive, but it still is a very captivating game with an intriguing storyline. I wouldn’t pay full price for it, but whenever you can get a good deal, it would be a game worth picking up. Dante’s Inferno is definitely a game worth checking out.

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